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Journalist becomes victim of violence

Dorchester Reporter founder is attacked

Ed Forry has covered plenty of crime in Dorchester since establishing the Dorchester Reporter newspaper with his wife in 1983, but he had never been a victim of violence.

That changed on Sunday when the 69-year-old Forry was taking a daylight walk alone in Dorchester Park about 5:30 p.m.

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“Without any warning, someone had thrown their arm around me and had me in a chokehold,” Forry said Monday in a telephone interview.

At first, Forry said, he thought a friend had approached him from behind and was playing a joke. But when he realized that he was being attacked, Forry said, he was unable to yell.

“I couldn’t breathe and I couldn’t yell, ‘I can’t breathe,’ ” he said.

The attack took place within 20 yards of the park’s entrance on Dorchester Avenue, Forry said.

He said he had been walking for about five minutes on a paved path with trees on either side in a section of the 27-acre park where someone could hide. Forry described the path as one he has walked many times.

He estimated that he lost consciousness within eight seconds and fell to the ground. “It was just instantaneous,” Forry said. He said he never saw his attacker and does not know whether it was a man or a woman.

Forry said he believes he regained consciousness within 30 seconds to five minutes and found himself coming to, as if waking from sleep, he said.

“I realized that, frankly, I was still alive,” Forry said.

His eyeglasses were still on his face, but his right shoe and sock had been removed, Forry said. “I literally don’t have a mark on me,” he said.

The robber did not take Forry’s keys or cellphone, so Forry said he called 911 and spoke with a woman who asked for the address where the attack happened. A Boston police officer reached the park about 5:45 p.m., according to a police report.

The robber took Forry’s wallet, which contained $40 or $50 in cash, but some credit cards he had were recovered, he said.

Forry said after calling police, he phoned his son, Bill, who is editor and publisher of the Dorchester Reporter. Bill Forry lives nearby and was there within minutes.

“Presumably, this guy was lying in wait in the woods,” Bill Forry said.

Ed Forry was taken to Carney Hospital for treatment and later released.

“He’s OK. He’s in good spirits,” his son said. “He understands that sometimes around here, unfortunately, these things may happen.”

Police spoke with Ed Forry and searched the area for a possible suspect, but did not find anyone, according to the report. Officers also could not find witnesses or cameras with surveillance footage, the report said.

Ed Forry said his primary-care physician checked him out on Monday at Massachusetts General Hospital for a sore throat. Mayor Martin J. Walsh and US Senator Edward J. Markey are among the people who have called to check on him, he said.

Bill Forry said the attack on his father is not a reason to stay away from the park.

He said his family, which includes his wife, state Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, and their four children, plan to return to Dorchester Park on Thursday when Soul City Band is scheduled to perform.

“Don’t stay away. Actually, use it and keep your eyes peeled and report any suspicious activity,” he said.

Ed Forry said he plans to write about what happened for this week’s edition of the Reporter.

“It was a serious situation, but I survived it fine and I’ll be back in the park” Tuesday, he said. “There are a lot of people that are victimized a lot worse than I was.”

Laura Crimaldi can be reached at laura.crimaldi@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @lauracrimaldi.
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